China is planning a large-scale engineering project that will see the construction of a railway from its south-west Yunnan Province to Singapore.
The project will see the rail line travel through rural Laos, much of Thailand and Malaysia. The government in Laos has reportedly welcomed the deal with its neighbours with open arms, however there are concerns from many residents over the impact the construction will have on the nation.
Currently, there are just two miles of functioning rail line in Laos, running across the Thai-Laos frontier close to Vientiane.
Construction of the 260-mile rail line will be a mammoth engineering task, which is expected to require the building of 154 bridges, 76 tunnels and 31 train stations, in order to connect Boten on the border of the two countries to Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
The Lao government is planning to borrow £4.5 billion from Beijing, using untapped minerals as collateral.
Further branches of the railway are expected to travel to Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.